Fasting is becoming more mainstream today, and more people are turning to fasting to help kick start their weight loss efforts. Some people juice fast to give their body a good detox after overindulgence during the holidays or over a vacation.
No matter what the reason, there are some things you will want to know about juice fasting before jumping in feet first. As with all health trends, there’s the good and the bad. You will want to be aware of these things before you commit!
What is Juice Fasting?
Juice fasting is pretty much just as it sounds. It’s when you fast from all sources of food except for juice from fruits and vegetables. By doing so, your body will begin the release toxins, and lots of nourishment and repair can take place!
Juice fasting is different from water fasting in the sense that you are still getting nutrition into your diet. Instead of it being in the form of food, it’s in the form of these nourishing juices. This helps provide your body with nourishment while still allowing it to cleanse itself as opposed to water fasting where you abstain from all sources of foods.
The Pros of Juice Fasting
If done properly, juice fasting can provide the body with a ton of benefits! For one, it’s a great way to detox the body. When you give your digestive system a break from food, your body can begin eliminating built up toxins. Some of these toxins may have been dormant for extended periods of time and getting rid of them can do tremendous things for your health.
Juice fasting also nourishes your cells. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants to support our body. This is one of the many benefits of juice fasting. Not only are you helping your body detox but you are providing it with the nutrition it needs to thrive at a cellular level.
Let’s take a look at some of the other amazing benefits of juice fasting:
- When fruits and vegetables are juiced, your body is better able to absorb all of their powerful nutrients. Since the fruits and veggies are in their liquid state, all of the insoluble fiber has been removed making digestion that much easier.
- You can try lots of new fruits and vegetables. When you are doing a juice fast, you are likely going to want to look for variety as not to get bored! This is the perfect time to introduce new superfoods to your palate that you can enjoy even after the fast.
- A juice fast provides an excellent start to a new healthy eating plan. Whether you are looking to lose weight or just get healthy, a juice fast can be the kickstart you need to get going. A juice fast preps your body and helps you get over those sugar cravings when you are jumping into a new clean eating diet.
- One of the most obvious benefits is the advantage of eliminating toxins from your body. Here are just some of the toxins you can remove from your body when you juice fast. Toxic wastes in the lymphatic system and bloodstream, toxic waste built up in the kidneys and liver, excess mucus build up in the sinuses, and even excess cholesterol. (1)
The Cons of Juice Fasting
While there’s a lot of good that can come from juice fasting, there are also some not so great things. Many of these cons are associated with juice fasts that may not have been done as properly as they could have been. With that being said, I am also going to go over how to do a juice fast so you can get the most benefit possible!
- Juice fasting can lead to excess sugar intake. This is especially true for those juices that are packed with fruit but very little When you do a juice fast, it’s important to stick to juices that are primarily made from vegetables. You want to skip the ones that are completely fruit based to avoid triggering a blood sugar spike. Fruit juice cleanses can also tax your liver which is the last thing you want when you are trying to cleanse the body! Fruit is high in fructose, and too much can overwhelm the liver.
- When you juice fast, you miss out of the fiber fruits and vegetables have to offer. While juicing removes the fiber and makes the juice easier to digest we do need fiber in our diets for the long haul. Insoluble fiber helps to bulk up our stool and remove waste, so you will definitely want to add fiber back into your diet after the juice fast. Fiber also helps to slow the digestion of sugar and can help stabilize blood sugar. This is just another reason it’s important to avoid juices primarily made with fruit. There is no fiber to help slow the digestion of the sugar.
- Juice fasting can also get expensive. Whether you are purchasing your own produce to juice or you are buying a juice fasting program, the prices do add up. When making your own juice, you will need to use about twice the amount of ingredients to make the juice as opposed to just eating the fruit or vegetable in its whole state.
Who Should Avoid Juice Fasting
While juice fasting can provide your body with a number of health benefits, it’s not for everyone.
- People with diabetes should probably avoid juice fasting as juices can be fairly high in sugar depending on the fruit content.
- Anyone who has difficulty balancing their blood sugar levels should avoid juice fasting. While you may get a decent amount of calories from a single juice it is not going to fill you up as a regular meal would. It’s missing protein, fat, and fiber which all help to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding moms should avoid juice fasting. The caloric demand on pregnant or breastfeeding women is much greater than the average person. You will not be able to obtain your daily caloric needs from juices alone.
- Anyone who suffers from a chronic illness will likely want to skip juice fasting. The body needs adequate protein to heal and repair, and when illness is present, it’s even more important. Juice fasting lacks protein so is probably best to be avoided in cases of illness.
How to do a Juice Fast
Are you ready to start your own juice fast? If so I am here to guide you on how to get started.
Here are some guidelines to follow to help make your juice fast a healthy and positive experience:
- Stick to a 4:1 ratio vegetables-fruits to avoid excess sugar.
- Buy organic produce when possible to avoid pesticide exposure. We are trying to cleanse after all!
- If you are making your own juice, invest in a juicer. Keep in mind that you don’t have to go overboard with a super expensive one especially if this is your first time trying out a juice
- If you are purchasing juice, be sure to get your juices ordered and picked up the day before your fast.
- Plan ahead. Plan what types of juice you will have during your cleanse and do your shopping ahead of time.
- Prep your fruits and vegetables. This includes washing them and getting them organized in the fridge or on your countertop.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help to keep you hydrated but will also help to flush out additional toxins from the body.
- Continue to exercise throughout your fast. You will not want to do strenuous exercise but a brisk walk will do.
- Start slow. There’s no need to jump into a full seven-day juice fast just starting out. Do a gentle three day fast over a weekend or whenever you have some extra time to put into juice preparations and taking extra great care of yourself.
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- Juicing for Health. (2017) Benefits of a Juice Fast/Feast
- Axe. Juice Cleanse: The Pros & Cons of a Juicing Diet